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Connacht Tribune

Galway writer’s Mafiosa novel making international waves

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They say that good things come in threes – but that’s not the only reason that the final instalment of  trilogy is already making international waves.

Galway writer Catherine Doyle, who is at the vanguard of the Youth Adult genre, has just released Mafiosa – the third and final book in the Blood for Blood trilogy – and it has already gone down a storm.

Mafiosa tells the story of Sophie, who – protected by an infamous mafia family – is living a dangerous lie, while pretending to lead a normal life.

Her heart belongs to a killer and Sophie’s the prime target of a rival clan. She’s determined to seek revenge on her mother’s murderers, but can she pay the price – can she be a mafiosa?

It’s the final instalment in Catherine’s YA Blood for Blood series which started with Vendetta and Inferno – and a host of her fellow Youth Adult writers made the trip from the UK to Dublin for the official launch last week.

So, too did a host of her old school friends from the Taylor’s Hill Leaving Cert class of 2007, supporting the 26 year old whose own story publishing history reads like a novel in its own right – after she was spotted by the publisher who’d previously signed JK Rowling!

The 26-year-old, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Literature & Publishing, wrote her debut book, Vendetta, in secret, spending the twilight hours tied to the computer for 29 consecutive nights until the first draft emerged.

She then attached the first three chapters to emails addressed to potential agents. It was only after she had been taken on by her preferred agent in London that she revealed to her family that she had written a book and was now trying to get a publishing deal.

“They were so relieved, they were wondering what on earth I was doing in my room all that time not sleeping,” she said.

The real icing on the cake came when agent Claire Wilson broke the news that Chicken House were interested in signing the Galway author.

Its owner Barry Cunningham had signed JK Rowling after her Harry Potter novel had been rejected by twelve other publishers, a tale that Catherine had written about in her college thesis.

Catherine was raised in a house full of books with her two brothers by her mother, Renmore-based GP Grace Doyle, and her father, principal of ‘the Bish’ boys’ secondary school, Ciaran Doyle.

It was her mum who convinced Catherine to join her on a creative writing course as a favour – but Catherine quickly found that her confidence soared and she gained the self-belief necessary to put pen to paper.

Her meteoric rise to the top of the book charts continues unabated and Mafiosa is already a best seller – with talk of movie adaptations already in the air.

It looks like the sky’s the limit for the Galway girl who is now a literary success story – to the power of three!

Connacht Tribune

Hospitality group raises €90k

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Lorraine Gallagher (left) and Charlene Hurley of Galway Hospice presented with a cheque for €27,537 by Brian Lynch and Eveanna Ryan of Connacht Hospitality.

The Connacht Hospitality Group this week announced that they raised more than €90,000 for a range of good Irish causes throughout 2022.

The group, which owns well-known Galway establishments including The Connacht Hotel, An Púcán, HYDE Hotel, Residence Hotel and 1520 Bar, as well as the Galway Bay Golf Resort, held a range of events at various stages of 2022 to fundraise for Claddagh Watch Patrol, the National Breast Cancer Research Institute (NBCRI), Galway Hospice and Make-A-Wish Ireland.

The announcement of over €90,000 worth of funds raised by the Connacht Hospitality Group for national and local charities comes off the back of the past 12 months which saw the group aim to make Corporate Social Responsibility a core part of their identity. This focus allowed them to become more aware of the causes that need assistance while also raising the profile of many of the charities.

The group arranged a diverse array of events to raise funds, and had lots of imaginative ways of grabbing the public’s attention. One event saw people attend HYDE Bar to savour a menu made by a mystery celebrity. In the end, it was revealed that TV personality Gráinne Seoige was the Executive Chef on a night that generated over €8,000 for the NBCRI.

Another event saw staff take part in a ‘Sunrise Swim’ in Salthill – and the public donated in their droves. All money raised went towards Claddagh Watch Patrol, an organisation that works to make Galway’s waterways safer by preventing accidental death and suicide.

One of the most successful fundraisers was the Galway Bay Golf Resort’s Golf Classic, which raised over €22,000 for Galway Hospice.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Residents in fear of gangs travelling to rural Galway to burgle homes

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Detective Superintendent Shane Cummins.

Residents in rural County Galway are living in fear of being burgled after one small area suffered at least 10 raids in the month of January.

Councillor Mary Hoade told a meeting of the County Joint Policing Committee (JPC) this week that those figures were for around Headford alone, as she called for additional resources to target travelling crime gangs visiting the county.

“Some of these burglaries are taking place in the morning when people go to work; some are in the evening; and others at night. It’s very frightening.  We recognise that these criminals are coming into the county, but we need more support to fight crime,” said Cllr Hoade.

“Rural garda stations have less resources . . . we’re relying on the resources in the nearest town,” she continued.

The Fianna Fáil councillor said gardaí couldn’t be everywhere at once, but communities needed to act as their eyes and ears and report suspicious activity when they see it. Detective Superintendent Shane Cummins (pictured) told the JPC that Galway was being targeted from time to time by travelling gangs.

“Three different gangs visited the county on one day recently,” said Det Supt Cummins.

Cllr Shelly Herterich Quinn (FF) said she believed increased CCTV and automatic number plate recognition cameras – to capture known gangs on tour – should be rolled out.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see this week’s Connacht Tribune. You can support our journalism by buying a digital edition HERE.

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Connacht Tribune

IDA Ireland’s €10m land purchase backs Oranmore for industry base

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Former Mayor of County Galway, Liam Carroll.

IDA Ireland has trebled its footprint on the outskirts of Oranmore by purchasing more than 100 acres of land to support industry.

It’s understood the semi-state body purchased some 42.9 hectares on the outskirts of Oranmore, for a price in excess of €10 million.

The strategic purchase of land adjacent to some 21 hectares zoned ‘business and technology’ and already owned by the IDA, was a “major vote of confidence” in Oranmore and Galway, according Cathaoirleach of the Athenry/Oranmore Municipal District, County Councillor Liam Carroll (FG).

It brings the total amount of land owned by the IDA in the area to over 150 acres.

This latest parcel, purchased at the end of 2022, is located off the N67 Claregalway Road, to the north and east of the Galway to Dublin Rail line.

“It would be ideally suited and attractive to a major multinational company or companies for the establishment of a high tech, pharmaceutical or medical device type facility,” Cllr Carroll said.

The entire site of 150-plus acres is close to the M6 motorway, and an hour away from international links, Shannon Airport and Ireland West Airport in Knock.  It is also close to a number of potential Park & Ride sites, identified by the National Transport Authority as being suitable for commuters.

It’s understood the land is zoned agricultural and would require a material alteration to the County Development Plan to be voted on by county councillors, in order for it to be rezoned before 2028.

(Photo: Cllr Liam Carroll, who believes the land could be developed for a tech or pharmaceutical hub).
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see this week’s Connacht Tribune. You can support our journalism by buying a digital edition HERE.

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